“Gottas” Gotcha?

by Joan C Webb on September 29, 2011

“Honey, you’ve had a busy day. Come watch the game with me,” suggested my husband.

“In a minute.”

Silently I added, First, I gotta clean the kitchen, wash a load of clothes and finish tomorrow’s report. My promised “minute” evolved into several hours.

Speaker Robert J. Kriegel contends that “gottas” have become the chief reaction for many of us in our bigger-better-faster-more culture. “The Gotta’s can run your life,” writes Kriegel in his book, If It Ain’t Broke . . . Break It!1

I gotta clean the house before company comes. I gotta study my Bible lesson. I gotta get an A on that test. I must start the kids on piano lessons. I should host the neighborhood party. It can become a never-ending cycle of inner demands.

Obviously, you and I need to accomplish certain tasks in order to lead healthy lives (brushing our teeth, showering and eating to name a few.) However, when we let the shoulds and gottas control our lives, we lose our sense of contentment. God isn’t the one who pressures us. He wants us to delight in our life and work—whatever it is at this season. Satisfaction and enjoyment are God’s gifts to us.

Lord, I don’t want to be confined by my “gottas.” Yet, getting rid of the excessive shoulds in my vocabulary isn’t easy. Please help me.

Make It Personal: Name three gottas that could keep you from enjoying this coming week. Now eliminate one of those gottas—just for the next few days. Easy does it.

Adapted from It’s a Wonderful (Imperfect) Life and based on “That everyone may . . . find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God.” Ecclesiastes 3:13

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

tentmaker September 30, 2011 at 5:21 am

oh well, it’s not that easy. others around tell me what i should do, not come watch movie. and because i dont have a full-time job, many people think its good to keep me busy with their requests.

it’s easier to do the “gottas” than refuse and feel guilty untill you do them.

Joan C. Webb October 1, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Hi, Tentmaker! Yeah, the gottas and the shoulds get rather LOUD at times, don’t they? For you, when do they get the quietest? Just wondering here… :-)

tentmaker October 2, 2011 at 4:23 am

they do get quiter when i’m away from home, but not too quitet. and that is why i’m trying to get out without any good reason.
though they almost shut up for a little while when i was on a Christian conference last summer and someone prayed for me.

Joan C. Webb October 8, 2011 at 1:37 am

Hi Tentmaker! What is your main focus now that you’ve graduated from college?
Just wondering: What do you mean that you’re “trying to get out without any good reason”? :-)

tentmaker October 9, 2011 at 7:30 am

Hi Joan!
you know what, i cringe at the questions like “what are you going to do in life?” and “who do you wanna be?”. why, i dont even know. i usually answer “i don’t know” to be safe. its not that i really dont know. i do have my dreams/goals/desires, but i’m scared to share and scared to live them, most of the time i just give up and follow my parents expectations

Joan C. Webb October 12, 2011 at 12:02 am

Hi Again Tentmaker! :-) I love that you have dreams/goals/desires. That brings a smile to my face–and heart. When you’re ready, I’d love to hear about them.
Where are you working now?

tentmaker October 12, 2011 at 7:02 am

hi Joan!
brings a smile, really? i would rather write them dreams in an email or message in Facebook if that’s ok.
now i teach English at two different places, just a few lessons a week, so i’m looking for some more job translating/teaching. i like to translate, and i like working with kids. in my family though it is believed that working with children is a stupid dull job that people do when they are not qualified to do anything more sufficient. i also started to volunteer at teaching English ministry in our church, not sure if i like it yet.

Joan C. Webb October 13, 2011 at 12:32 am

Tentmaker, are we friends on Facebook? Forgive me for not connecting about it. Soooo, yes, go ahead and send me a direct message on Facebook. I’d love to hear more of your dreams. It sounds like you’re a teacher at heart. :-) And that you’re having a profound impact on the future of individuals, families, communities, our country and the world as you work with the kids, because a person can never tell who or what the children will grow up to be!

tentmaker October 21, 2011 at 5:22 am

Hi Joan! no, we are not friends on facebook, i thought i could still send a FB message but i cant seem to do that. so maybe i cold write on one of the emails listed on your FB page, if that’s ok?

Joan C. Webb October 21, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Sure, send me a message via the website. OR we could also be “friends” on FB, if you like.

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